Japan’s feverish bid for upcoming World Cup

Just a week after the din of celebratory vuvuzela horns died down in South Africa, fresh World Cup fever is gripping nine candidates battling to host the showpiece in 2018 or 2022.

The sport’s world governing body FIFA on Monday kicks off a two-month inspection tour of Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Netherlands-Belgium, Russia, England, Spain-Portugal, the United States and Qatar in that order.

The first stop, Japan, is counting on its impressive organizational, financial and technological power to win the 2022 event. It co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with South Korea after staging one summer and two winter Olympics.

Japan has promised to treat football fans worldwide to ultra-realistic live three-dimensional broadcasts of matches.

Read the rest of the story: Japan first up as FIFA inspects World Cup hopefuls

Japan ready to stomp Paraguay on way to World Cup Victory

Japan coach Takeshi Okada thinks reaching a first ever World Cup quarterfinal with victory over Paraguay on Tuesday would be an important step in developing football in his country.

“For the football community of Japan, it would be very bright, wonderful news and encouraging if we advanced,” Okada said Monday through a translator. “Japan’s aim of becoming one of the world-class teams would be one step closer if we can qualify for the last eight for the first time.

“The World Cup is a very good measurement to estimate the level of a nation at this time and we’ve come so far, not only to our credit, but to the credit of footballing community of Japan as a whole.”

Read the rest of the story: Paraguay, Japan chase first WCup quarterfinal